05/16/06 — Murder suspect heads to court

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Murder suspect heads to court

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on May 16, 2006 1:51 PM

Telly Cox, accused of taking part in the murder of two people on New Year's Day in 2004, has refused a plea bargain and will go on trial in late summer in Wayne County Superior Court.

Cox, 24, of LaGrange Road, LaGrange, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping and one count of attempted first-degree rape and armed robbery.

By refusing the plea bargain, Cox could be sentenced to two consecutive life terms, if he is convicted by a jury of all charges. A source close to the case had said Cox would have been sentenced to a long prison term, but not life, if he had accepted the offer.

The victims -- Michael Shawn Maynard, 30, and Christie Nicole Jones, 25, were fatally shot at about 3 a.m. Jan. 1, 2004, in Maynard's mobile home in the 100 block of Garrick Lane.

A co-defendant, Christopher Lee Brown, 22, of Forest Knolls Road, pleaded guilty Jan. 19 to two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to consecutive life sentences.

Cox had refused to sign the plea agreement until his mother could see it, according to his lawyers, Rosemary Godwin and Mike Howell. Ms. Godwin told the court on May 1 that they had searched for her on the preceding Friday, April 28, without success.

Judge Jerry Braswell of Goldsboro gave Cox until Monday to decide on the plea arrangement. He refused, prosecutors said.

Assistant District Attorney Jan Kroboth said the trial was scheduled for Sept. 11.

The only witness to the crimes was Maynard's 7-year-old daughter who was visiting from another state. She had hid in a closet during the shootings. Before Miss Jones died, she told the little girl to call 911. She did call but hung up on the dispatchers. Sheriff's deputies responded to the hang-up call and found the bodies.

Deputies canvassed the neighborhood near Sheridan Forest Road and N.C. 111 South and developed Brown and Cox as the suspects. Brown was found later that night by Goldsboro police. Cox was found a few hours later.

Miss Jones was injured seriously in a vehicle collision about four months earlier in Wake County and needed help to get around. She was visiting Maynard, a family friend, to celebrate the new year and to paint his daughter's fingernails.

Sheriff Carey Winders said the motive for the slayings was robbery. Cox and Brown were accused of stealing two .22 caliber rifles, a box of shells and a crossbow.

A third defendant -- Alonza Sonye Bedell, 21, of Hunters Creek Drive -- pleaded guilty to being an accessory after an assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill while inflicting serious injury. She will be sentenced after Cox's case is completed.